Yesterday (September 12, 2017), Amazon’s 1-Click patent expired. Not many people realize that the 1-Click shopping method by Amazon was involved in several legal fights, most notably with competitor Barnes & Noble, and effectively stopped merchants from offering this feature.
The company did license the “technology” to Apple for use to power iTunes purchases and product purchases from Apple.com
Large payment gateways such as PayPal or shopping cart providers such as Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, did not include the 1-Click checkout functionality.
You may find the occasional “rogue” extension, but as far as widespread use in shopping cart platforms it was taboo.
WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT 1-CLICK?
If a buyer already is a customer, 1-Click allows for a simple purchase of a product by using the buyer’s preferred shipping and payment details.
In short, it removes those steps that often lead to checkout friction. Some would argue that impulse shopping conversion increases.
Because with no real comparative data available (Certainly Amazon wouldn’t share it if it had it), it is impossible to guess how much Amazon may have benefited from this simplified purchasing process.
But what may make it valuable today is the significant increase in mobile commerce. Any process that can reduce or simplify the steps of purchasing on a mobile device will increase conversion.
Maybe One-Click played a role in Amazon’s ability to build their empire. But if this quick checkout process is now available for anyone to use, it should help every merchant that operates an eCommerce store.
RUSH TO IMPLEMENTATION?
Of course, everyone in the eCommerce tech world is aware that this patent expired yesterday. So we should expect to see some new applications soon taking advantage of 1-Click or quick checkout.
And the beginning of voice commerce with smart speakers may make 1-Click less relevant. AI integrations such as Walmart’s partnership with Google may be the future of “quick purchase” eCommerce.
And Amazon itself is pushing hard for Amazon Echo (or Alexa) to make shopping easier. In essence, they have moved on from 1-Click.
Also, Amazon still owns the trademark on 1-Click, so whatever copy of the 1-Click method others will use, it will require a different name. This naming issue may introduce friction to adoption or implementation.
Regardless, let’s see how many shopping cart vendors will jump on the opportunity to implement One-Click buying. It won’t hurt sales, so if your shopping cart or marketplace starts to offer One-Click (or whatever name they will call it), you should use it.
What do you think about Amazon’s 1-Click? Did it benefit them and if you can now legally implement a version of it, will you do so? Let us know in the comments section below.
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